Horror Story or Dream-Come-True? The PPR 24-Item Home/Condo Renovation “Must-Do” Prevention/ Preparation Check-List!
Making the Decision to Renovate.
Deciding to renovate your home is one of the most important decisions you can make as a home owner. We all have heard the horror stories associated with a renovation project. Despite this, we embark on a home renovation because we have high hopes and huge dreams about creating satisfying, even luxurious living spaces.
Renovation Equals Messy.
Regardless of the most exacting planning, a renovation process creates disruption and is messy…
–messy in the design planning with its multiple ideas and final decisions you, your family, your architect/designer, and Project Manager must consider and agree upon;
–messy during construction with the basic flow of every-day-life put in disarray despite the best efforts of your Project Manager to control the construction process;
–messy in the furnishing choices, wait-time, and coordination until the final outcome is achieved!
The Knight in Shining Armor: Your Check-List (and your Project Manager!)
To prevent the excitement of your new space turning into an escalation of frustration, an out-of-hand budget, and a disappointment of epic proportions, reno prep is mandatory. And your 24-Item PPR Home/Condo Renovation “Must-Do” Prevention/Preparation Check-List must now become your newest, most-important best friend!
If you take the Check-List to heart, the process and stages of your renovation can be reasonably orderly and achievable with the least amount of stress for you and your family. The 24-Item PPR Home/Condo Renovation “Must-Do” Prevention/Preparation Check-List which follows is a guide; you and your Project Manager will custom-tailor the List to meet your renovation requirements.
The PPR 24-Item Home/Condo Renovation “Must-Do” Prevention/Preparation Check-List
❐ 1) Thoroughly discuss the project with family. Agree on the details of the renovation: Type, Time, Style, Budget, Design Details, etc.
❐ 2) Determine what you can afford allowing for 20-40% in cost overages. You may want to consider checking with your financial adviser(s) to line up any necessary financing which will be involved. At this stage of early planning, keep in mind that renovation projects are synonymous with unexpected costs due to changes in required or desired material and/or construction.
❐ 3) Check with Governmental Entities about Codes, Permits, and Scheduling Inspections. Note – Your Project Manager (PM) will do this for you. Your PM will also assure that each of the trades is fully aware of the regulations and that the materials used meet the codes. Inspections often must be scheduled and approval obtained before walls go in!
❐ 4) Consider how to manage living arrangements for you and your family during the renovation. Availability of power, water and heat may be limited at times during the renovation. Remember that among other problems there will be dust, muddy areas, loud noises and a constant flow of unfamiliar work people.
❐ 5) Consider the Living Arrangements for Your Pets and Animals. Remember that among other challenges, there will be dust, muddy areas, loud noises and a constant flow of unfamiliar workers.
❐ 6) Check with all related Home Owner Associations to assure that your project is in compliance. Each and every association has its own set of restrictions. It is best to understand the regulations to avoid delays, required changes and unnecessary litigation.
❐ 7) Let your neighbors know about your renovation plans. Note – Your PM will do this for you. Projects create noise, dust, mud and traffic. It is best to keep peace in the community.
❐ 8) Determine your ideal time to start the renovation. Note – Your PM can assist you in determining the best availability of skilled trades and to get the best prices. Realize that the house will need to be organized and storage may be required. Generally allow 30 days for the organizing process.
❐ 9) Initiate the planning stage by working with a Project Manger (PM) – not a General Contractor (GC). There is a startling difference between the services of a PM and a GC. Follow This Link to read and understand which of the two professionals best represents your real estate interest from project inception to project completion and which offers the most comprehensive project onsite oversight.
❐ 10) Find the right renovation Professionals for you and your Family. Interview and vet the parties to make sure there is a good fit for your project:
❐ 11) Get a Floor Plan for the entire house: The measurements and location of Structures/Systems. Knowing the measurements and structures of the entire house and sharing them with the various trades as necessary will save time and per-hour-costs of tradespeople on your project. Look to your PM to accomplish this task. Your PM should check with each of the trades and suppliers to assure that they have the exact measurements before ordering, cutting, installing, etc.
❐ 12) Check for and mark all utility lines – Gas, Water, Electric, Sewer/Sump- located in areas affected by renovation. Note – Your PM will make these arrangements. This is extremely important! Your PM will also guide the trades as they work in the areas where utilities are located to prevent disruption of service and added repair and construction delay costs.
❐ 13) Assure that the Electric Service is adequate for the new renovation. Note – Your PM will do this for you. Most homes built before 2000 did not anticipate the electronic load required to energize the multiple devices we use in our homes today. Your utility and your PM can determine your needs working with the Architect and Engineer(s).
❐ 14) Discuss the renovation project with your Insurer. During and following the renovation you will want to make sure that your coverage meets your needs. This is not a good time to be under-insured!
❐ 15) Focus on Quality and Durability as well as Appearances. Given the multiple number of suppliers, products and price points, it is extremely important to take into consideration the quality, durability, price, and appearance when comparing the construction materials you are choosing.
❐ 16) Choose Designs that will provide lasting value – Avoid trends and fads! The renovation and design should enable you and your family enjoyment and comfort for years to come. Suppliers and the shows on TV feature ideas that are designed to sell products which excite an audience…but what is made popular today may not be good for you in the longer run or to a potential buyer in the future.
❐ 17) Plan the organizing, decluttering, packing and storage required to get the renovation underway. On average, it takes at least 30 days to prepare the home or condo for the renovation. At this stage, working with your PM or a trained Organizer is essential to assure that the items discarded as trash really are trash items and not valuable to you. It is essential that you and your family’s possessions are protected and that moving back into the house goes smoothly based on an orderly method of boxing and labeling your household goods as part of the preparation process. Reminder: You or your PM should make arrangements for delivery and location of a dumpster.
❐ 18) Carefully protect your possessions that are valuable, sentimental or fragile. There will be a constant flow of people in and out of the house during the renovation. Nothing is safe!
❐ 19) Work with your PM and the other Professionals to assure that they thoroughly understand Your Goal. It is essential that you, your family and all of the professionals involved in your renovation project understand all of the nuances of why you are renovating. Every family they work with has a different set of motivations and desired outcomes. Make sure your PM schedules regular “Pulse Meetings” so that all parties are aware of the current status of the project. If you have selected the right professionals, they will share in your vision and do everything possible to make your Dreams Come True!
❐ 20) Schedule a Forensic Home Inspection for the entire structure and property. While the renovation itself may only involve a part of your home, the systems and structures are inherently tied together. It is essential to have a forensic inspection to understand the condition of all structures and systems as well as to limit unfortunate and costly surprises.
❐ 21) Schedule the times that you want to be on site to tour and inspect the renovation’s progress. You or your family’s presence can be extremely disruptive to the trades in getting their work accomplished. This will create additional clock hours with additional costs to your project. Let your PM represent you!
❐ 22) Avoid making unnecessary design changes after the PM, Architect, Engineer(s) and Design firm(s) have finalized a renovation plan and budget. Changes cause the overall costs to skyrocket and timelines to become extended. In addition, work that has already been accomplished by the trades may need to be replaced at your cost.
❐ 23) Check all deliveries of materials, fixtures and supplies— Discrepancies are often the norm rather than the exception. Your PM should check all invoices to assure accuracy plus open all boxes and check that the delivery matches the ordered material, quantity, quality and condition. Your PM should reject order discrepancies. The new invoice will need to be adjusted, a new delivery date scheduled, and the trades involved in using the product notified about the delay. The PM will then adjust all timelines involved and provide them to the trades.
❐ 24) Expect the Unexpected. You’ll Sleep Better!
In Conclusion – When embarking on a renovation, the more you plan, the luckier you get and the more rewarding your project becomes! A strategic plan initiated at the beginning of your renovation project is one of the most significant contributing factors to a successful project! As you can see from the above Check-List, a successful project depends in part on being well organized, working with the right people, and constantly being aware of your surroundings.
Either you or the Project Manager (PM) needs to be omnipresent – a condition which PPR calls “Onsight Oversight”. You or the PM must have the ability to creatively solve problems and communicate with parties from a multitude of backgrounds who offer diverse skill sets while being constantly aware of Time, Quality and Cost. In addition, the focus must always be on obtaining the desired results.
Who will be your Project Manager? From inception to completion, a renovation should be a full-time job. It is, in fact, a very big job!
Do you have the time, expertise and patience to oversee the project from start to finish – every day? Or do you think the renovation project would go more smoothly if you worked with a full-time Project Manager (PM), thereby allowing you to attend to your regular work, travel, or leisure schedule while providing you and your family peace-of-mind?
If, upon consideration, you would like to explore the option of hiring a Project Manager, feel free to discuss your Project with PPR at no cost or obligation! Our PPR WatchDog will protect your Real Estate interests and point you in the right directions!
Call Direct: 216.577.5579